Pasta – Cook Like A Dad http://www.cooklikeadad.com Recipes & Resources for Dads - Video Cooking Tutorials- Dad Food Blogger Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:17:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.14 Weeknight Grilled Shrimp Scampi http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2015/09/21/weeknight-grilled-shrimp-scampi/ Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:03:52 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=1349 Weeknight dinner…..those two words bring fear and stress into the minds of dads as they’re juggling the end of the work day, picking up kids, possibly getting to and from sports practice and then having to provide a tasty yet healthy dinner for the family.  The following recipe is a slam dunk regarding convenience, taste and is also great for the whole family. It sure beats boxed mac and cheese and also freezer burned chicken nuggets! Try the following tonight – […]

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Weeknight dinner…..those two words bring fear and stress into the minds of dads as they’re juggling the end of the work day, picking up kids, possibly getting to and from sports practice and then having to provide a tasty yet healthy dinner for the family. 

The following recipe is a slam dunk regarding convenience, taste and is also great for the whole family. It sure beats boxed mac and cheese and also freezer burned chicken nuggets! Try the following tonight – your kids and your taste buds will thank you!

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Prep Time: 30 min. / Cook Time: 8 min.

Ingredients (for 6 Servings):

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  • 1 TBSP Minced Garlic
  • Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Medium Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined
  • 1 lb. Thick Spaghetti

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Directions:

  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Season with crushed red pepper, if desired. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard any remaining marinade.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque
  4. Add grilled shrimp to a bed of cooked thick spaghetti

family-dinner

Credit: www.allrecipes.com

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Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce Recipe http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2014/12/25/quick-simple-pasta-sauce-recipe/ Thu, 25 Dec 2014 21:36:32 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=1280 Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce Recipe Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe because it is packed with flavor that your whole family will love. This will become your every day, quick and simple pasta sauce. Learn how to make a quick and simple pasta sauce from Dad Cooking Blogger, CookLikeADad. Sauce made simple… Pasta is a weekly staple in my house and over the years I have refined my red sauce to deliver maximum flavor with minimal […]

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Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce Recipe

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe because it is packed with flavor that your whole family will love. This will become your every day, quick and simple pasta sauce. Learn how to make a quick and simple pasta sauce from Dad Cooking Blogger, CookLikeADad.

Sauce made simple…

Pasta is a weekly staple in my house and over the years I have refined my red sauce to deliver maximum flavor with minimal effort. The key to making my simple red sauce is having fresh ingredients. I like to use the combinations of the following:

1- Cup of Fresh Basil and Italian Parsley, chopped

1-Tablespoon dried Oregano leaves

3-4 Garlic cloves, chopped

(1) Orange, squeezed with pulp into the bowl

1- Can of Tomato Sauce

1-Can of Stewed Tomatoes

1- Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Equipment: Large mixing bowl and spoon

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Cooking Steps: Get Chopped

Chop fresh basil and Italian Parsley together on a cutting board with a sharp knife. Don’t worry about making precise cuts on these herbs. Place herbs in a large mixing bowl. Drop your can of Tomato Sauce and open the can of stewed tomatoes and pour the can into the bowl while making a “hand crush” of the tomatoes. That’s right, take the pieces of stewed tomatoes and crush them with your hands. This method of crushing the tomato releases more flavor into your sauce. Add the table spoon of dried Oregano, Olive Oil and stir slowly. Now add the fresh chopped Garlic.

Place this wonderful concoction into a stew pot on med-low heat. Allow the sauce to “bubble” not boil and stir frequently. The secret ingredient to this sauce is the use of citrus. I like the mild, sweet taste of using an orange, but I have also used lemon and lime for a nice tart flavor as well, (Any of these options work). In this recipe, take your Orange and cut into half and squeeze the entire orange into the sauce. Don’t worry about getting the pulp in the sauce, it will dissolve and add more flavor.

At this point, it’s now time to prepare your favorite pasta. Start by using a salted pot of water that has been brought to a boil. In this recipe, I used Fettuccine pasta and kept the pasta stirred well while cooking in the pot of water. Serve pasta warm and take a generous portion of sauce and you are about to enjoy my simple sauce.

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My Wine Pairing: JLohr Wines

As a longtime fan of having wine with my pasta, JLohr wines have been sitting on my family dinner table for the past 10 years. If you ever make your way up the California coast, there is a little community in the central California region called, Paso Robles. This sleepy little surf town produces some of the best wines in the world and that is where you can find JLohr vineyards. If you can’t make the trip, you can always find their wines at your local grocery store or wherever you shop for wine. For my red sauce pasta dishes, I like the smooth taste of the JLohr, Cabernet Sauvignon. This cab is packed with flavor and year after year produces a smooth finish. Give it a try.

Editors Note: This was not a paid review of JLohr wines. The thoughts, opinions stated in this review are my own and would be the same I would give to my friends, family and even enemies. CookLikeADad and it’s employees did not receive any compensation for this review.

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How To Make Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2013/05/28/how-to-make-healthy-fettuccine-alfredo/ Tue, 28 May 2013 03:32:33 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=573 Fettuccine Alfredo is a favorite choice at any Italian Restaurant. However, the problem is in the sauce. Too many fat grams and calories make this pasta dish an unhealthy choice. Let Dad Cooking Blogger, RJ Jaramillo shows you how to make Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo. Just a few healthy changes to the ingredients will cut the calories in half, but maintain all the Italian flavor.

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Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo

My family loves my Italian cooking. The problem is, most of my recipes are packed with calories.  Over the years, I have made better choices on making my recipes with less calories and fat by choosing different ingredients that can lower the calories, without compromising the flavor. One of my more recent discoveries is the use of Greek Yogurt.  The mellow creamy texture of this type of yogurt is the perfect, healthy ingredient to help some of my creamy, cheesy recipes.

Fettuccine Alfredo is the perfect example of how Greek Yogurt can be incorporated into one of my favorite Italian recipes. Watch the video and follow my steps and you will be surprised how good this sauce tastes.

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Shopping List: Ingredients- Feeds Family of 4

10- 12 oz. Package of Fettuccine Pasta

1- Tablespoon of Salted Butter

3-4 Garlic Cloves, Minced

1- Tablespoon of Corn Starch

1-Teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

1-Cup of Chicken Broth

1-Cup, Grated, Parmesan- Reggiano Cheese

1- Cup of Greek Yogurt (2%)

Equipment:  2 Medium Sized Mixing Bowls, Boiling Pot for Pasta, Small fry Pan

 

Cook Like a Dad Cooking Steps: Pasta Prep

Start a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook Pasta according to instructions and your style and taste, (when done, keep the pasta damp and warm in a large mixing bowl). Now on to the next step… start a fry pan on medium heat. Add tablespoon of butter and place-minced garlic in the pan stir and cook for a couple minutes, do not burn the garlic. Keep pan on a low heat. Now, take a clean mixing bowl and mix the cornstarch and nutmeg together. Slowly add the chicken both into the dry mix until the entire cup is poured and the mixture is smooth. Keep a steady hand and add ¾ of the cup of graded cheese into the pan. Keep stirring the cheese into the chicken broth and keep the heat at LOW to avoid burning.

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The Secret Ingredient: Greek Yogurt

Now that the cheese has melted into the chicken broth, add 1-cup of the Greek Yogurt into the pan. Keep stirring to make sure that all the ingredients have blended well together in the pan. Take the sauce off the heat and over to the damp bowl of pasta.

As you see in my video recipe, I have taken a large bowl and placed the warm Fettuccine Pasta in the bowl.  I add my warm Alfredo sauce into the bowl while mixing the pasta. The sauce will grab the warm pasta like glue. Continue and repeat until all the sauce is in the bowl.

Serve warm and sprinkle left over Parmesan Cheese over the top and enjoy!

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Rock’n Mac N Cheese Recipe http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2013/02/20/rockn-mac-n-cheese-recipe/ Wed, 20 Feb 2013 21:15:33 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=490 Just because kids love Mac N Cheese doesn’t mean Adults can’t enjoy the same creamy recipe with a little kick to the flavor. Latino Dad Cooking Blogger, RJ Jaramillo and CookLikeADad are going to show you how to make our Rock’n Mac-N-Cheese recipe!

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Rock’n Mac N Cheese Recipe

Just because kids love Mac N Cheese doesn’t mean Adults can’t enjoy the same creamy recipe with a little kick to the flavor.  Latino Dad Cooking Blogger, RJ Jaramillo and CookLikeADad are going to show you how to make our Rock’n Mac-N-Cheese recipe!

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Shopping List / Ingredients:

1- Box of Barilla Elbow Pasta

1- Box of Velveeta Cheese

1-Stick of Butter

1-Cup Bacon Bits

1- Box of Cheez-It, Crakers

1- 4 oz. Can of La Victoria Jalapeno Peppers, Diced

1- 7 oz. Can of Embasa, Chipotle Chiles

1- 16oz. Bag of Sargento, Shredded Sharp OR Mozzarella Cheese

Equipment:

2- Pots with Lids, 1-Casserole Dish, 1- Large Mixing Bowl, Oven Pre-heated to 350* Degrees

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Rock My World.

Mac and Cheese is one of those dishes that you can eat all by your self, or you can serve it as a side dish to just about any American meal. In this recipe, I am going to show you how making a few “Adult Adjustments” with the ingredients will make this dish “pop” with flavor and spice. I like to call it my “Rock’n Mac and Cheese” because it has the perfect combination of flavor and spice that adults can enjoy.

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Cooking Steps: Start Pasta

On my video recipe, I left you the option to choose a “All Veggie” Elbow Pasta, or my personal selection of the “Whole Wheat” Elbow Pasta from Barilla. Both of these Elbow Pastas work well, so it is your option. Follow the cooking instructions and cook Elbow pasta first, then set aside in a bowl to cool.

Velveeta-

Velveeta Time

Take your second cooking pot and melt a ½ Stick of butter and break apart the Velveeta Cheese Stick into the pot. Keep the pot on a Low/Medium Heat setting to avoid burning your cheese. As the cheese begins to melt, ADD the 3oz. Can of La Victoria diced Jalapenos into the mixture of cheese. Mix well.

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I am a MEXI- CAN, Not a MEXI-Can’t….

The next step is to calculate your heat index. I like a spicy Cheese sauce for my recipe; you may not like as hot as I do. In my video recipe, I show you how you can add a “little heat” by just adding (1) Chipotle Chili in the mixture, plus a little of the juice from the can to provide adequate heat. For those folks who like a lot of “kick” in their Mac-N Cheese, use the entire can of Chipotle and mix well into your Cheese mixture.

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More Cheese, please…

Lower the heat on your Cheese mix and Add One (1) 16-oz. bag of Sargento Sharp Cheddar OR Mozzarella Cheese to the pot and mix well.

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Sir Mix-A-Lot

At this stage, it’s time to combine the cooked Elbow Pasta and the cheese mixture together in one, large mixing bowl. Add 1-Cup of Bacon bits to the mix and stir the entire contents well.  Butter the bottom of your Casserole Dish and drop the entire contents into the dish. Top off the dish with a thick layer of CHEEZ-IT crackers and place in the oven for 15 Minutes, at 350 Degrees.

Enjoy!

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Got A Recipe Idea? Ask CookLikeADad

Give us your feedback and tell us what you would like to see CookLikeADad perform your favorite recipe. Send us your suggestions in an email to: Rj@CookLikeADad.com

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My Take on Spaghetti and Meatballs http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2012/12/03/my-take-on-spaghetti-and-meatballs/ Mon, 03 Dec 2012 18:12:16 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=420 In this recipe, I am going to show you how I make Spaghetti & Meatballs, the kid friendly version. When you mix the right ingredients together, you really can get the fussiest eaters in your family to enjoy a great Pasta dish. Latino Dad Cooking Blogger, RJ Jaramillo and CookLikeADad will show you how to make Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Spaghetti & Meatballs, The Cook Like a Dad Way…

I’m sure every parent out there has fussy eaters in their family like me. Over the years, I have learned how to change my favorite recipes into being more “kid friendly” which means taking the core ingredients and tweaking the recipe in order to have everyone eating the same meal and enjoying a healthy portion.

In this recipe, I am going to show you how I make Spaghetti & Meatballs, the kid friendly version. When you mix the right ingredients together, you really can get the fussiest eaters in your family to enjoy a great Pasta dish. I have broken down the recipe in three easy steps. Take a look and enjoy this recipe.

Ingredients: Feed a Family of 4 +

(1) – Package of Spaghetti Pasta Noodles

(1) – Package of Italian Sausage (This can be turkey or Pork Sausage)

(1) Medium Onion (Yellow, Red or White) Chopped Fine.

(1) Medium Bell Pepper (Red, Orange or Yellow) Chopped Fine

(1) Large Orange OR Lemon

(1) Clove of Garlic, Chopped fine

(1) 29oz. Can of Hunt’s Tomato Sauce

(1) 29oz. Can of Hunts Petite Diced Tomatoes

Cooking Tools: Large Sharp Knife, Olive oil, 2 Mixing Bowls, Spaghetti Pot, Fry Pan.

Seasoning: You can buy the Dry Seasoning Mixes in the Spice Section at your grocery store OR Purchase the ‘live herb’ version in your produce section for a better flavor experience:

Dry Version: Mc Cormick’s Italian Seasoning or

Live Herb Version: Basil, Italian Parsley, and Oregano

Take all Herbs, Onion, Bell Pepper and Garlic and Chop together to create about (2) cups of “special spices”.

 

Before you start understand:

The Prep Time with Meatballs and Sauce

Like any Cook Like a Dad Recipe, I like to tell my viewers to feel comfortable making changes to my recipe; If you are not a Pork Sausage fan, no problem. You are welcome to use any type of sausage for your meatballs, (Turkey Sausage, Beef Sausage, Tofu Sausage, etc.).  The important part of the recipe is in the “prep time” with the ingredients. The same rules go for making your Spaghetti Sauce. You need the right amount of time to add your special ingredients into your sauce.

Cooking Steps: Heat LARGE Pot Of Water, Heavily Salted (Add about a  1/2Cup of Salt to pot of Water)

 

I like to prepare my sausage with fresh chopped Basil, Italian Parsley, Red Onion, and Bell Pepper. The combination of these ingredients makes the taste of the sausage come alive and I highly recommend taking this step in my recipe. Remove the sausage out of the casings and place all sausage broken up by hand into a large mixing bowl. Add a cup of fine chopped onion, bell pepper into the bowl and mix ingredients by hand. Now add a cup of the combined fresh herbs, (Basil, Italian Parsley and Oregano) or the dry seasoning. Add ½ Cup of Olive Oil and Chopped Garlic clove. Mix Well.

Form a small, but compact Meatball in the palm of your hand. Roll the meatball in your hand to about the size of a golf ball. You do not want to make a meatball any larger than a golf ball size because they become brittle and you are not guaranteed that they will be fully cooked if you make them any larger. Repeat rolling out meatballs in your hand until you have used up all the sausage mix in the bowl. When done, set all meatballs aside.

The Sauce

The best thing I like about this recipe is the sauce prep. You can adjust the flavor of the sauce according to your taste. I have offered both a Lemon and Orange in this recipe because sometimes my kids change their mind on tangy versus a sweet flavor in their sauce. Either way, you only need one or the other to add.

Take a large mixing bowl and pour the contents of both Hunt’s canned tomato products. Add the remainder of your Spice / Herb ingredients into your mixture and stir well. Now squeeze the juice of either Lemon OR Orange (But not both) into your sauce mixture and stir well. Let this sauce sit aside in the bowl.

Cooking the Meatballs…

Take a large Fry Pan with Olive oil and place on Medium heat. As the pan is heating up over the stove, place the meatballs in the fry pan, keeping them close, but separated. Keep heat on a Medium/ Low Setting. You do not want your heat on HIGH because you will have a false sense of security cooking the meatballs. Keep the heat on Medium and if you have a “LID” for the fry pan, cover the meatballs to trap some heat over your meatballs.

Use a spatula and rotate the meatballs in the pan to ensure they have an all-over cook. Cook meatballs in the pan for at least 18- 20 minutes or at least until all meatballs have been cooked from all sides. At this point, we are now ready for the perfect combination of Sauce and Meatballs to merge…

Sauce Meets Balls….

Take your bowl of Pasta Sauce and pour the contents into the Fry Pan of Meatballs. Lower the heat of the fry pan to a Medium /Low setting and slowly stir the contents together, making sure you don’t break the meatballs while stirring. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the sauce and meatballs to heat together for at least 12- 15 minutes…

Boiling Pot of Water: Add Pasta to boiling pot of Water. Stir occasionally and cook for 15 minutes or according to directions on the package.

CookLikeADad Conclusion:

At this point, we are ready to serve. Take Spaghetti Pasta and serve a bed of warm Spaghetti on a plate and pour the sauce and meatballs over the Spaghetti and enjoy my “take” on Spaghetti and Meatballs…

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The Best Dinner Date Recipe http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2012/11/09/the-best-dinner-date-recipe/ Fri, 09 Nov 2012 00:40:38 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=400 There comes a time when you need to have a “Go To” dinner date recipe; something that is classy and shows confidence in the kitchen. Learn how to make my Dijon Scallop Pasta dish and make the best impression on your next dinner date from Cooking Blogger, Rj Jaramillo and CookLikeADad.

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The Best Dinner Date Recipe

There comes a time when you need to have a “Go To” dinner date recipe; something that is classy and shows confidence in the kitchen. Learn how to make my Dijon Scallop Pasta dish and make the best impression on your next dinner date from Cooking Blogger, Rj Jaramillo and CookLikeADad.

 

Don’t Be Afraid, Be a Man…

It’s easy to go out to dinner on a date and take that special someone to a nice restaurant. However, nothing shows greater confidence than a man making his woman a dinner that is both classy and tasty. That is why I am going to show my Dijon Scallops with pasta. This recipe will capture the heart of your dinner date and will guarantee to increase your chances on another date.  So what do you got to lose?

Ingredients:

(1 ¼) Pound of Sea Scallops, or about 12 scallops

(1) 16 oz. Carton of Barilla, Fettuccine Pasta

(2) Lemons

(1) Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard (Grey Poupon) or Gulden’s Brown Mustard

(1) Jar of Capers, (You can find them in the Pickle Section)

(1) Container of Shredded Parmesan Cheese

(1) Tablespoon Butter

(2) Tablespoons of Salt

Lawry’s Garlic Salt, Course Ground Pepper

*Optional Items: Red Pepper Flakes, Minced Garlic

Equipment: Boil Pot for Pasta, Fry Pan with lid for the scallops

 

Cooking Steps:

The prep time for this recipe is very short; so make sure you are ready to eat when you make this recipe. In fact, it can be very romantic when you ask your date to watch you cook or join in with you on this recipe…

Start by heating up a pot of water for the pasta. Make sure you ADD 2- 3 tablespoons of salt into the water. I like to use Fettuccine pasta for this dish because it’s a wide, flat noodle. While the water is taking its time to boil, you can start making the Dijon sauce. This sauce was created out of a last minute necessity I had on a dinner date at home. I had no red sauce and I was planning on making pasta that evening. As it turns out, the combination of lemon juice, capers and mustard offer a great flavor combination to the scallops and I pulled off a perfect evening.  Back to the sauce; take the two lemons and slice them in half and squeeze the juice out of them into a shallow bowl or dish. Add a Tablespoon plus+ of mustard and take about a tablespoon of capers and gently mix the three ingredients together.

Cook Like A Dad Tip: To avoid dropping seeds into your sauce, take a wet paper towel or napkin and place over the face of the cut lemon and squeeze the juice out.

Next Step: Boil Pasta.

Cook Pasta according to your taste and according to the direction son the box. When ready, take it out of cooking pot and keep at room temperature in a serving bowl.

Next Step: The Scallops

Now don’t be intimidated with cooking scallops. I know there is a fine line between a soft, cooked scallop and a hockey puck, but I am going to show you how to avoid disaster. Take your scallops and rinse, clean and dry. Gently Sprinkle the Scallops with Lawry’s Garlic Salt and some course, ground pepper. (See video)

Next, take a fry pan and place on MED heat. Immediately place a generous portion of butter onto the pan, while the pan is heating. Now place the scallops in the pan and cover ¾ of the fry pan with the lid. I do this to offer an “all over cooking heat” to the scallops. Scallops may cook unevenly depending on their size, but I have a foolproof way to solve that. In my video recipe, I am looking to see when the scallop begins to “Crack” at the edges. This tells me to flip the scallop over and reduce the heat of my pan. Watch your scallops and continue to flip the ones that are cracking. When all scallops are flipped, turn off the heat and pour your Dijon mixture over the scallops and place lid over the pan of scallops for another 5 minutes…

Next Step: The Serving

The Presentation is key. Take the plate you will be serving the meal and place a handful of pasta in the center. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese and the optional, red pepper flakes over the bed of Fettuccine. Now take the warm pan of Scallops and place scallops over the pasta with the Dijon sauce.

You are now ready to impress!

Wine Pairing: I am a big red wine fan and this time of year there are a bountiful amount of varieties to choose from with this diner recipe.  I am currently drinking a lot of blends and Zinfandel’s and my latest, affordable wine that I like is the following:

Kendall Jackson, Summation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have a Dinner Date Recipe?

Give us your feedback and tell us what you like to serve on your dinner date, or if you would like to see CookLikeADad perform your favorite recipe. Send us your suggestions in  an email to: Rj@CookLikeADad.com

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Laughing and Lasagna http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2012/09/06/laughing-and-lasagna/ Thu, 06 Sep 2012 17:07:12 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=348 Are you a Dad that comes home from a long day of work grumpy and hungry? Let CookLikeADad show you how to turn that frown upside down with a quick and easy Lasagna dish. This cooking for kid’s recipe promises to have you laughing by the end of the meal.

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Laughing and Lasagna

Are you a Dad that comes home from a long day of work grumpy and hungry? Let CookLikeADad show you how to turn that frown upside down with a quick and easy Lasagna dish. This cooking for kid’s recipe promises to have you laughing by the end of the meal.

Ingredients: Feeds a Family of 5

Total Cooking & Prep Time: 45 minutes or less…

1 ½ Pounds of Ground Beef, OR Ground Turkey, OR Sausage (The Sausage can be any variety) Cook completely in a fry pan on Med/Hi heat, drain grease.

1-One, 10-12oz. Can of Tomato Sauce

1-One 10-12oz. Can of Stewed Tomatoes, drain can juice

1-One 6- 8oz. Can of Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons of Oregano Leaves

1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning

OR

(You can substitute the above Tomato ingredients with (1) 16oz. Jar of Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce).

1-One Package, Dry Lasagna

1-One 10 -12 oz. Mozzarella Cheese Ball, Grade it Or substitute with the Sorrento, 12 oz. Pre-Graded Mozzarella Cheese.

1-One 10 -12 oz. Container of Ricotta Cheese

1- Tablespoon Olive Oil

½ Onion, Fine chopped

Equipment:

Oven, Square 8 or 10-inch Baking Pan, Fry Pan, Boil Pot, Mixing Bowl, Cheese grader

 

No Laughing Moment…

As a Dad to three kids, I discovered a lot about keeping a positive attitude at home. Unfortunately, it took a real bad day at work to wake me up and realize what was more important in my life. It took my oldest child to walk up to me one evening after one of my “grumpy bouts” and tell me, “Dad, you don’t laugh or smile anymore and we don’t like to be around you for dinner when you are grumpy like this… I picked up dinner on the way home from school and we ate already so we won’t have to be around you.”

That was all it took for me to realize how much I lost touch with my priorities. I discovered that I was mentally bringing my work home and carrying the stress of the day to the one place I looked forward to being at the end of every day; dinner time cooking with my family.

So this recipe is for all parents out there that are bringing home the stress of the day home to their sanctuary. Trust me, your children know when you are grumpy, so take it from me and let go of your day and celebrate your evening with your children by making my CookLikeADad, Laughing Lasagna Recipe.

 

Cooking Steps: Set the Mood

This recipe has a couple cooking steps where you can cut some time down, so get your children involved in this recipe; The family that cooks together, stays together! I like to cook with a little background music and I let my kids choose the music. With today’s technology, it’s great to have the variety of music playing from Pandora Internet Radio while you are cooking with your family, (It also helps the Dad Cool Factor by learning new music). During this particular recipe, I was able to educate my children by playing some classic Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra music while making Lasagna… A classic Italian moment with my Rat Pack!

Anyways, back to the cooking steps; Start Boil Pot with salted water, (1 cup Salt) bring to a boil and follow directions on cooking the Lasagna pasta.

Pre-heat oven: 375 Degrees F

Take the Ground Meat that you have chosen for this recipe and cook thoroughly in a fry pan, Med /HIGH heat.  While cooking, season meat with ½ Cup finely chopped onion, 1 Table spoon of Italian Seasoning and 1 Tablespoon of Oregano. Mix well with meat. Drain excess grease and se meat aside in a bowl.

Make Sauce:

Like all CookLikeADad recipes, I like to give my Dads flexibility with my recipes and options on ingredients. I have my three tomato mixture of Tomato Sauce, Stewed Tomatoes and Tomato Paste on this recipe AND an option you to just buy a large jar of Pasta sauce. This option is all according to your budget and time. You can your prep time with pasta sauce, just make sure you have some tomato paste around to thicken your Lasagna sauce. You can also add the recommended spices to the pasta sauce to bring out more flavors.

Let the Layers Begin…

You are going to make a couple of layers in this recipe, so make sure you keep a portion of sauce, cheese and lasagna available. You can also just make one layer of the ingredients and use up all of your ingredients in just one run. Either way, you will be smiling now because your dish is starting to resemble a meal…

Grease the bottom of your Lasagna pan with Olive Oil and place an even coat of your sauce at the bottom of your pan. Now start with one layer of Lasagna Pasta and cover the bottom. Add sauce to that layer, now sprinkle your cooked meat over the sauce evenly. Take a healthy scoop of Ricotta Cheese and spread it across the layer of meat. The Ricotta should spread like Sour Cream so don’t worry if you have gaps in between your meat and cheese. Add a Sprinkle of the Mozzarella Cheese. Make sure there is a good layer of sauce and cheese if you just plan on topping off this Lasagna. You can repeat the  first steps again or just top this layer with another layer of Lasagna Pasta and finish with  a coat of sauce, meat and mozzarella cheese.

Place the pan of Lasagna in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes…Since all of the ingredients used in this recipe are already pre-cooked, you only need the time in the oven to melt the cheese. Serve warm.

 

Do You Have a Recipe you want to see on CookLikeADad?

Send us your suggestions on how we can help you be a better Dad in the kitchen. Send an email to RJ and CookLikeADad.  Our Email:  RJ@CookLikeADad.com

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Quick and Easy Gnocchi Recipe http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2012/03/17/quick-and-easy-gnocchi-recipe/ Sat, 17 Mar 2012 23:10:59 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=184 Sometime in the future, your kids are going to ‘burn out’ on Pasta and you to need to have a back up plan. Gnocchi is my ‘Go To’ pasta substitution and I found that my kids love these soft little potato dumplings in an easy to make tomato sauce. Follow my three easy steps in this recipe and enjoy a new twist to your Pasta Night!

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Potato Gnocchi (no-key): Sometime in the future, your kids are going to ‘burn out’ on Pasta and you to need to have a back up plan. Gnocchi is my ‘Go To’ pasta substitution and I found that my kids love these soft little potato dumplings in an easy to make tomato sauce. Follow my three easy steps in this recipe and enjoy a new twist to your Pasta Night!

Ingredients: Serves a Family of 4

One (1) 17.5 oz. pkg. of De Cecco Potato Gnocchi

Two (2) 8 oz. Salmon Filets, cleaned and boneless

One (1) 28oz. Can of Crushed Tomatoes

One (1) 14.5 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce

Fresh Basil, Italian Parsley, Red Onion Chopped Fine

One (1) Lime

1- Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning

1-Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Equipment: Stove

3- Pans ( 9-inch Fry Pan, 2-Quart Boling Pot, 2-Quart Pot)

 

Cook Like a Dad Cooking Steps:

To make this all possible in 30 minutes or less, we are going to break the recipe down to 3 easy steps. The Sauce, The Fish and The Gnocchi.

Step 1: The Sauce

Let’s Make Sauce. The first step is to make your own pasta sauce. Empty your Tomato Cans into a large bowl. Take your Onion, Parsley, and Basil and chop them fine. Mix these herbs into the bowl of your Tomato sauce and then add the dry Italian seasoning. Cut your lime in half and squeeze all juice out of lime as possible into the bowl of sauce. Place the entire contents into a lightly greased (Olive Oil) pot on the stove, low heat.

REMINDER: Heat up the second pot full of salted water ( 3 tablespoons of salt in the water)

Step 2: The Fish

I am hooked on Salmon because of the mild, kid-friendly flavor. Take your two filets and cut them in half. A little Pepper and salt is all you need to season them and wipe both sides of the filet with Olive Oil. Place your Fry Pan on Medium heat and put your filets into the pan. Allow each side of the fish to cook for 7 minutes, (Total 14- minutes). Take your Tomato sauce pot and pour the entire contents in the Fish pan and set on low heat. Allow to simmer.

Step 3: The Gnocchi (No-Key)

Now that you have a boiling pot of salted water, dump the entire package of Potato Gnocchi into the pot. Stir the Gnocchi frequently. The best way to know when your Gnocchi is cooked is when all of the little dumplings rise to the surface. Watch my video and you will see how the entire contents will rise when ready. Empty water out of the pan and allow Gnocchi to cool and dry in a separate bowl.

Ready to Eat: Servings

Place the Gnocchi dumplings at the bottom of a shallow bowl. Take your fish filet and place on top of the Gnocchi and pour the tomato sauce on top of the fish and Gnocchi. Accent the dish with freshly graded Parmesan Cheese and enjoy with a loaf of French Bread and butter.
Gnocchi

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Spicy Shrimp Pasta http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2012/03/02/spicy-shrimp-pasta/ Fri, 02 Mar 2012 04:08:43 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=126 Cook Like a Dad shows you how to cook for a family of four with our family recipe favorite, Spicy Shrimp Pasta. Cooking for Teens, Cooking for Kids and keeping Dad happy in the kitchen is what Cook Like a Dad is all about

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Quick Pasta Dish http://www.cooklikeadad.com/2012/02/28/quick-pasta-dish/ Tue, 28 Feb 2012 06:15:48 +0000 http://www.cooklikeadad.com/?p=51 Every parent has a quick, ‘Go to’ dish when it comes to feeding their family in a hurry. When you need something more hearty than spaghetti, try this easy pasta dish that combines sweet Italian sausage and a zesty homemade pasta sauce; all the taste with just 5 ingredients and ready in 20 minutes

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Quick Pasta

 Quick Pasta Dish

Every parent has a quick, ‘Go to’ dish when it comes to feeding their family in a hurry. When you need something more hearty than spaghetti, try this easy pasta dish that combines sweet Italian sausage and a zesty homemade pasta sauce; all the taste with just 5 ingredients and ready in 20 minutes

Shopping List: Feeds a family of 4

  • Fully Cooked Italian Sausage ( 1 pound) – Cut slices of sausage
  • 1- 14 oz. Can of Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1- 3oz. can of Tomato Paste
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Dried Pasta ( 1  pound)
  • Accent Items to have around; Parmesan Cheese, Minced Garlic, Olive oil, and fine chopped onion

Kitchen Tools:

  • Boiling Pot for Pasta
  • Fry Pan to cook Sausage
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula for both sauce and pasta

The key to this dish is the simplicity of needing only 5 ingredients. Just a pound of cooked sausage, a few spices, and pound of dried pasta such as rigatoni and you are all set. With children, I prefer sweet Italian Sausage for this recipe. If your kids have a more mature pallet, don’t hesitate to buy Spicy Italian Sausage or even add a pinch or two of dried red pepper flakes into this recipe. A one pound, cooked sausage is readily available at most supermarkets. The next item on your list will be pasta sauce base. I like to use a 14 oz. can of stewed tomatoes (Italian Recipe Style) and small 3 oz. can of Tomato paste for my base sauce. The next item to buy will be Italian Seasoning, (mixture of Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Fennel) this will go into my sauce base.

Cooking Steps:

  • Bring Large pot of salted water to a boil. Keep it on boiling, while you start the pan with a little olive oil, chopped onion and minced garlic. Once brown, add sausage wheels into mix for about 10 minutes, or until brown. Keep about 1 tablespoon of grease from the pan. Return pan back to heat and add can of stewed tomatoes and mix half of can of the tomato paste with 1 tablespoon of the Italian seasoning. Allow tomatoes to caramelize, ( about 3 minutes under the heat)
  • Cook Pasta according to the package directions. Drain pasta and keep about 1/3 cup of the ‘pasta’ water. Pour that water into to the pan of tomato sauce. Use spatula to scrape the drippings from the fry pan to mix well with tomato mixture.
  • Now place drained pasta, cooked sausage into the sauce and mix well so that the sauce and pasta are completely covered. Serve with Parmesan Cheese and Red Pepper flakes according to your taste.

Enjoy!

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